MSE News: England's prescription and dental charges frozen

Former_MSE_Natasha
Former_MSE_Natasha Posts: 672 Forumite
edited 25 March 2010 at 1:16PM in Health & beauty MoneySaving
This is the discussion thread for the following MSE News Story:
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  • poppy10_2
    poppy10_2 Posts: 6,575 Forumite
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    Before the inevitable complaints about people regarding England having to pay more for their prescriptions, NHS Scotland, NHS Wales and HSCNI are completely separate organizations to NHS England, they have their own budgets, their own management and their own expenditure decisions. There is no overall budget or management for the different NHSs across the UK, they all make their own decisions on how they spend their own money
    poppy10
  • carolt
    carolt Posts: 8,531 Forumite
    Can I just say that a good starting point for a new MSE campaign (thanks Martin for taking on board so many other important issues - and often winning! :j- is to remove prescription charges if not for eveyone (which would be the ideal), then certainly for all those suffering from long-term chronic conditions.

    3 members of my family suffer from asthma, for example Having the right inhalers and other medications is vital - potentially a life-and-death matter.

    No-one should ever have to be in the position of having to decide whether or not they can afford to breathe that day - breathing is not a luxury, optional extra!!

    I believe medication for some other longer-term conditions eg cancer is free under the NHS. Medication for asthma should be too. Will it take someone to die before they realise this is a priority???

    I should add that whilst some asthma sufferers can save money by buying an annual certificate, there are many others (those in my family, for example), whose total cost for annual prescriptions comes in at just under the cost of the certificate, so would save nothing that way. And there have certainly been times in the past where we just could not afford the cost of a precription for inhalers - because we both worked, but were not esp highly paid, and had high expenses eg London rents, and children. Had we been unemployed, we would of course have got them for free.

    There are huge inconsistencies in the system over who and where is entitled to free medications.

    These desperately need to be examined and resolved, before someone loses a life.
  • westv
    westv Posts: 6,081 Forumite
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    poppy10 wrote: »
    Before the inevitable complaints about people regarding England having to pay more for their prescriptions, NHS Scotland, NHS Wales and HSCNI are completely separate organizations to NHS England, they have their own budgets, their own management and their own expenditure decisions. There is no overall budget or management for the different NHSs across the UK, they all make their own decisions on how they spend their own money

    But it does beg the question why can they do it for free but here in England we have to pay?
  • poppy10_2
    poppy10_2 Posts: 6,575 Forumite
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    westv wrote: »
    But it does beg the question why can they do it for free but here in England we have to pay?
    That's like an American saying how come British people get free operations and we have to pay. The NHS in Scotland, England and Wales and NI are completely separate organizations and spend their budget as they choose. NHS Scotland and NHS Wales might choose to spend their money on providing free/subsidized prescriptions, but then they have less money to pay for operations, cutting waiting lists, employing more nurses, fighting MRSA etc. They choose to prioritise where they spend their own money.

    Nobody has given NHS Scotland or NHS Wales any extra money to provide free prescriptions, they have just chosen to spend the money they already have in a certain way, while NHS England has chosen a different route.
    poppy10
  • A_fiend_for_life
    A_fiend_for_life Posts: 1,643 Forumite
    edited 25 March 2010 at 8:02PM
    British Heart Foundation have a campaign on this urging Gordon Brown to keep his 2008 promise on long-term conditions. There are a number of organisations campaiging for this promise to be kept:

    http://www.bhf.org.uk/news-and-campaigning/our-campaigns/prescription-charges.aspx

    See also:

    http://campaign.publicaffairsbriefing.co.uk/home.aspx?cid=79c3eb7e-7b85-413a-b954-77d3e78b3f5c
  • Yogibear
    Yogibear Posts: 459 Forumite
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    I think the people in england pay lower council charges thats why the scots get free prescriptions all about cash flow,for example I have a good friend in Luton who lives in a three storey townhouse with three bathrooms and he pays less council tax than me in edinburgh in a one bedroomed end terraced house.
    please do not pick on me for my grammar,I left school at fifteen and worked in the building trade for 55years ,

    Chalk and slate csc:D
  • westv
    westv Posts: 6,081 Forumite
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    westv wrote: »
    But it does beg the question why can they do it for free but here in England we have to pay?
    poppy10 wrote: »
    That's like an American saying how come British people get free operations and we have to pay. The NHS in Scotland, England and Wales and NI are completely separate organizations and spend their budget as they choose. NHS Scotland and NHS Wales might choose to spend their money on providing free/subsidized prescriptions, but then they have less money to pay for operations, cutting waiting lists, employing more nurses, fighting MRSA etc. They choose to prioritise where they spend their own money.

    Nobody has given NHS Scotland or NHS Wales any extra money to provide free prescriptions, they have just chosen to spend the money they already have in a certain way, while NHS England has chosen a different route.

    Aren't you just repeating what you said in your first post? When I asked "Why?" I already knew that England, Scotland and Wales had separate budgets (because you said so). The reason I asked "Why?" is because I wanted to know the exact reasons for the differences. Is it due to the other reasons you mention or are they just able to run things more efficently? Somebody must know I'm sure.
  • Toothsmith
    Toothsmith Posts: 10,073 Forumite
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    If I could just draw everyone's attention to the current National Debt!!!

    The fact that over the next few years there are going to have to be cuts in public spending on a scale that made Thatcher look like a spendthrift liberal.

    There is no way on God's green earth that NHS 'savings' are going to be found through 'efficiency savings'! Reducing the days lost through sickness for goodness sake!

    Arguing about the rights and wrongs about who pays £7 to get some medicine and who doesn't is about as valid as worrying about the availability of ice cubes on the Titanic.

    The next decade is going to be a very dangerous time to get poorly.

    Until someone gets to grips with the realities of running a state subsidised public healthcare system in the 21st century - and how much the citizens need to really pay to enjoy a system that really works, we're either going to have a crap healthcare system, or a bankrupt country - or both!
    How to find a dentist.
    1. Get recommendations from friends/family/neighbours/etc.
    2. Once you have a short-list, VISIT the practices - dont just phone. Go on the pretext of getting a Practice Leaflet.
    3. Assess the helpfulness of the staff and the level of the facilities.
    4. Only book initial appointment when you find a place you are happy with.
  • poppy10_2
    poppy10_2 Posts: 6,575 Forumite
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    Yogibear wrote: »
    I think the people in england pay lower council charges thats why the scots get free prescriptions all about cash flow,for example I have a good friend in Luton who lives in a three storey townhouse with three bathrooms and he pays less council tax than me in edinburgh in a one bedroomed end terraced house.
    Council tax is not used to pay for the NHS. It's used to provide council services. The clue is in the name.
    poppy10
  • poppy10_2
    poppy10_2 Posts: 6,575 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    westv wrote: »
    Aren't you just repeating what you said in your first post? When I asked "Why?" I already knew that England, Scotland and Wales had separate budgets (because you said so). The reason I asked "Why?" is because I wanted to know the exact reasons for the differences. Is it due to the other reasons you mention or are they just able to run things more efficently? Somebody must know I'm sure.
    Having worked in both Scotland and England I do think the Scottish NHS runs more efficiently, but that's just a subjective anecdotal opinion.
    Like I said the main reason why they are able to provide free prescriptions is because they spend less on other areas of healthcare.
    poppy10
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